Under the proposed fee-for-service model for ASIC, SMSF auditors will have to pay a one-off registration fee of $1,927.
The new fees are a drop from the previously proposed $3,429 amount during the government’s first consultation period late last year, but still a massive increase on the current $107 fee.
Further, approved SMSF auditors applying to exit the sector will be hit with a deregistration fee of $899.
Some, like audit partner at BDO Shirley Schaefer, are outraged by the developments.
“This seems like a cash grab to me,” Ms Schaefer told SMSF Adviser.
“Even on a user pays model it seems exorbitant. Some could argue that it costs more than undertaking the necessary education,” she said.
“I agree we need to encourage more entrants into the system and maintain quality. This does not support that,” she said.
“It might be cheaper for auditors just to let ASIC disqualify them for not re-registering,” she said.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand fear the changes could deter worthy candidates for SMSF auditor registration.
“Like we have stated in the past, there should be a tiered model with the ability for ASIC to charge two fees – one for complex cases and one for simple cases that require little processing,” CA ANZ superannuation leader, Tony Negline, told SMSF Adviser.